Former Rep. Wolf: ‘If Nigeria Unravels…Impact on World Will Be Unbelievable’

By Barbara Hollingsworth | June 24, 2016 | 5:43pm EDT


First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Twitter campaign for the release of Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. (Twitter)

( – After a recent trip to Nigeria where he met with government officials and victims of the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, former Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) warned that if the African nation “unravels,” the resulting humanitarian crisis would dwarf the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria.

Although Nigeria is the wealthiest nation in Africa, many Nigerians live in poverty and millions have been victimized by terrorist groups, including Boko Haram, which has killed more people than the Islamic State (ISIS), Wolf pointed out.

Boko Haram is a radical Islamic terrorist group active in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon whose name roughly translates to “Western Education is Forbidden”.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 teenaged Nigerian girls from a boarding school in Chibok and “married” them to the group’s jihadis.

Despite worldwide media coverage of the kidnapping, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s participation in the #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign, only two of the kidnapped girls have been found.

“There’s 180 million people in Nigeria. There’s 3 million in Syria. If Nigeria unravels, imagine the impact on Europe and the world. It would be unbelievable,” Wolf, who is now a senior fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, said during in his first public address following the group’s June 9 release of the official report of their trip at an event sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Lecture Series.  

The institute is asking the Obama administration to appoint a special envoy for Nigeria and neighboring countries under assault from the deadly terror group.

“According to the 2015 Global Terror Index, more than 51 percent of all global deaths attributed to terrorists were committed by Boko Haram,” Wolf said. 

“Boko Haram, as you may very well know, has signed an agreement, pledged its allegiance to ISIS,” Wolf said. “Nigeria has had the largest increase of terrorist [caused] deaths than any other country of the world. Nine of the top 20 of the most fatal attacks in 2014 occurred in Nigeria.

“[Of] the deadliest terror organizations in the world, number one is Boko Haram. Number two is ISIS. Keep in mind they’ve pledged their allegiance to ISIS, and there’s a connection there with ISIS. Number three is al-Shabaab, which is in Somalia, and number four is a group that I’d only heard a little bit about, and that’s the Fulani militant herdsmen. In essence, they’re the fourth most dangerous terrorist group in the world.

“So Nigeria, a country of 180 million, has the first, has pledged allegiance to the second, and they have the fourth” deadliest terrorist groups in the world, Wolf pointed out.

“You have up to five to six million internally displaced persons (IDP)” in Nigeria, Wolf said. The IDP camps “are the worst I’ve ever seen,” he added. “They have nothing. The UN is not there, almost no one’s there, other than some church groups.”

But the former congressman said that the U.S. and Europe will face serious repercussions if the Islamic terror groups are successful in destoying Nigeria.

“We have a major interest there,” Wolf said. “There are 180 million Nigerians. One prominent Nigerian said, ‘Nigeria is fragile.’ He said if that 180 [million] or a portion of them are displaced, they will devastate Africa, they will devastate Europe, and they will have a major impact on the business interests of the United States. And he said it would not be violence free….

“Bono, the Irish rock star and singer, said about a month ago, he said ‘the unraveling of Nigeria is an existential threat to all of Europe’.

“Right now, keep in mind, Nigeria – 180 million people. Boko Haram, the Fulanis, ISIS. Syria, you have 23 million, and look at the impact the Syrian refugees have had on Europe and many other places, even beginning to have a little impact here.

“If Nigeria unravels, the impact on Europe and the impact on the world will be unbelievable.”

Wolf also criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for ignoring the advice of U.S. intelligence agencies, which urged her to designate Boko Haram as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

“And for some reason, during Secretary Clinton’s time, she would not designate them. Now to the credit of Secretary [John] Kerry, he has. I believe that had we designated Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization then, much of what we’re facing… would be different.”  

Wolf quoted William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament who led the fight to outlaw the slave trade, who said: “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.”

“And quite frankly, what we wanted to do with our report was to go. The [U.S.] Embassy isn’t going where we went…. The American people cannot now say that they do not know.”  

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